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Chris Chase

NBC's London problem

Chris Chase
Fourth-Place Medal

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In 2012, the Olympics head west to London, a move that would seemingly benefit NBC and Stateside television viewers. London is closer, English-speaking and one of the most familiar foreign cities for Americans. Ironic then that the London Olympics could be a nightmare for NBC.

London time is five hours ahead of New York, which means it will be 1:00 a.m. at the Olympics when NBC begins primetime coverage on the east coast. By the time NBC goes off the air at midnight, London will still be fast asleep. The smaller time difference (as compared to the 12-hour difference with Beijing) actually hurts NBC because there won't be any wiggle room to air live primetime events in the United States. After all, the network can't realistically petition the IOC to move swimming finals to 3:30 a.m. in London.

As a result, it's unlikely the U.S. will get live primetime coverage of any sport in 2012. One time slot's loss is another's gain though, and the 10:00 a.m. daytime coverage should be filled with live events. MSNBC, CNBC and Universal HD should also have a plethora of sports to air live during the day (unlike in Beijing when mid-day in the United States was the middle of the night in China).

If you're a glass half-full kind of person, take comfort in the fact that the results of major events will still be relatively fresh by the time they air in the States. Most of the events that were shown in primetime on tape from Beijing had been completed 12 hours before NBC aired them. Assuming finals will take place around 11:00 p.m. in London, NBC will only have four-hour lag between the event and its airing on domestic television. This should make it easier for people to avoid finding out results.

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